It used to be that an affair, a sex tape, or shameful public behavior during a stage production of Beetlejuice would be disqualifying for political candidates. Thanks in large part to Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs and, later, the adulterous behavior Donald Trump engaged in with a porn star while his wife was pregnant, it’s merely disruptive. It’s a news cycle.
It’s ironic, then, that Fox News would shame Susanna Gibson, a nurse practitioner and Democrat who is running for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Gibson and her husband live-streamed themselves having sex on a site called Chaturbate, and unfortunately, some of those streams were captured, stored, and released to other sites. Those videos are being shared. Gibson released a statement earlier this week:
This is an illegal invasion of my privacy designed to humiliate me and my family. It won’t intimidate me and it won’t silence me. My political opponents and their Republican allies have proven they’re willing to commit a sex crime to attack me and my family because there’s no line they won’t cross to silence women when they speak up. They are trying to silence me because they want to silence you, and I won’t let that happen. My opponent and his allies know that the people of this district are on our side on the issues, so they’re stooping to the worst gutter politics. There’s too much at stake in this election and I’ll never stop fighting for our community.Will it hurt Gibson’s campaign in Virginia? That’s unclear. What is clear is that this is consensual sex with her husband — that’s the kind of traditional family values that Republicans generally appreciate, notwithstanding Governor Kristi Noem’s apparent extramarital affair with Corey Lewandowski (interestingly, Republicans are more likely to cheat on their spouses than Democrats).
All of this, of course, makes it extra ironic that Laura Ingraham and Fox News are shaming Gibson for engaging in loving, consensual acts with one’s spouse. “All right, this is a real headline from the AP, ‘Virginia candidate who livestreamed sex videos draws support from women and a leading Democrat,’ Ingraham said. “Why is this something that women are supporting? No one leaked these videos of this Virginia candidate; she put them on a porn website for money, but somehow this is now a rallying cry for respect? What are women doing to themselves?”
Rachel Campos-Duffy went so far as to say Gibson and her husband are “not good people,” which is based on what? Are people who have sex with their partners automatically bad people? “Looks like the Democrat Party is just Pornhub,” Laura Ingraham added. If it were, Ted Cruz would pay a lot more attention to it.
The race between Gibson and her Republican opponent is close, although the backlash to the backlash has reportedly helped Gibson’s fundraising numbers. Love is love is love is love, even if it’s streamed on a website called Chaturbate.